Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The problem with the ‘problem with tenure’ for teachers

Washington Post
August 26th, 2014

Attacking tenure and job protections has become the rage in school reform circles. In recent years some states have either eliminated tenure or cut back on teacher job protections by legislative means, and the courts have become a new battleground since a California judge last month declared unconstitutional state statutes that give job protections to teachers. There are two similar lawsuits in New York state and more are expected to be filed in other states.
If you ask 10 people to explain tenure for K-12 teachers, most of them would likely say that it is a job guarantee so ironclad that tenured teachers can’t be fired.  While there are cases in which it takes way too long to remove teachers who shouldn’t be in the classroom, tenure is not, in fact, a lifetime job guarantee, as tenured teachers can and do get fired. In this post, veteran teacher David B. Cohen takes apart some of the “the problem with tenure” arguments. Cohen is   National Board Certified, and is associate director of the Accomplished California Teachers group. Cohen is taking a leave this year from teaching to work on a blog and a book about great teachers and schools around California. This appeared on InterACT, his group’s blog.

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